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Old 04-30-2006, 04:45 PM   #1
Nikki Young
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Mainly speaking for places which have access to a wide variety of good foods, do they have as many problems with grains etc that we in western society do? For example, most Asian countries consume a lot of grains.. noodles for breakfast, rice for lunch and dinner, some people say they eat it in small proportions, but i don't think that 1-2meals a day of 2-6 (or more) bowls of rice is a 'small' consumption.

They don't suffer widely from obesity, as far as i'm aware they don't have a high rate of blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease and other illness's, although i know they do exist. The main point i can think of is that in Asian diets they still consume a wide variety of vegitables and meat, whereas a lot of western society lives of bread, pasta and fast food. Which also makes me consider places such as Italy in terms of grain consumption, they eat lots of grains, especially pizza's and breads, but they are said to have good health considering other countries.

If i ate like the Chinese (with Chinese food) or like Italians (with Italian food) i would be the size of a house and in addition have poor health. So if someone turns around and says 'grains aren't bad, Asians eat rice all the time and they aren't dying off from ill-health caused by grains', what would you're response be?
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:08 PM   #2
Carl Herzog
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Whatever you think about grain consumption, it is not, by itself, the main reason Westerners are suffering from diet-related health problems. It's too many calories. If you could stick to Zone ratios - and total volume - with most of the carbs from grain the majority would probably do relatively well. That's a big if, though.
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:23 PM   #3
Anthony Marzolf
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I lived in Okinawa for about 4 1/2 years, and what I noticed there, eating with friends and sometimes while eating out in restaurants, is that the Okinawans and Japanese usually eat very well balanced meals. You get A LOT of rice with most meals when eating out, but most didn't finish all of it, and among my friends and their families the meals were usually some form of meat (fish, beef, pork, chicken, goat, tofu etc..), a very generous helping of veggies with little or no seasoning, and sometimes rice, sometimes noodles, sometimes nothing else. Drinks with meals were either ice water or some type of cold tea. I can say without a doubt that I never ate better.
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:44 PM   #4
Hone Watson
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Traditionally Okinawan's eat a lot less rice and a lot more meat and fat than what most people realize.

As for asian health.

Diabete's is a big problem in places like Malaysia due to the large meals of noodles and grains.

Korean's have quite a balanced sort of meal also and Japanese traditionally have whole foods with some seasoning - apart from the rice and noodles.

Generally the Chinese and Japanese grow up with crooked teeth due to the high grain consumption.

The phytic acid leaches the body of minerals.

(Message edited by hone on April 30, 2006)
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:47 PM   #5
Motion Macivor
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did you know that the okinawans have the highest life expecatncy in the world?

Your right I think portion control is huge.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:41 PM   #6
Mie Yoshinaga
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i agree on the portion control.
i spent all my life moving back and forth, back and forth between Japan and the US, and I notice a HUGE difference in the amt of food consumed at each meal. i think i easily eat about 2-3 times more here than i do in Japan.

Also, there is an emphasis on eating a balanced meal. my mother used to try to get me to eat 30 different foods per day, which'd be hard to do if you are just eating pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese for one of the three meals. that's only 3 types of food. Most health conscious people will clear this number easily, and it's actually not too hard to do, but try doing it day in and day out...

oh, and two of my grandparents are 92, and going strong =)
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:09 PM   #7
Ross Hunt
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You've probably already read this, but if you haven't, you may want to check out the Weston A. Price Foundation's articles on the Meditterannean and Japanese diets [down at the bottom of the following page]:

When I lived in Italy, I noticed that people (myself included) simply ate less, and that fat intake was high. Protein intake was not particularly high, but pasta as generally cooked was seldom a high-carb, low-fat meal.

Also, one might want to draw a distinction between health and mortality on the one hand and fitness and body comp on the other. The high-fat intake of Italians may, indeed protect them from health hazards as WAP suggest: I didn't see much American-style obesity in Rome. But neither did I see a lot of people with good body comp--one either had the metabolism to burn off the intake, and stayed thin, or one didn't, and one became slightly pudgy though not overweight.

(Message edited by Orestes122484 on April 30, 2006)
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Old 05-01-2006, 04:32 AM   #8
Charlie Jackson
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American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 3, 459S-463S, September 1999

Plausible mechanisms for the protectiveness of whole grains

Dietary guidelines recommend the consumption of whole grains to prevent chronic diseases. Epidemiologic studies support the theory that whole grains are protective against cancer, especially gastrointestinal cancers such as gastric and colon can-cer, and cardiovascular disease. Components in whole grains that may be protective include compounds that affect the gut envi-ronment, such as dietary fiber, resistant starch, and oligosaccha-rides. Whole grains are also rich in compounds that function as antioxidants, such as trace minerals and phenolic compounds, and phytoestrogens, with potential hormonal effects. Other potential mechanisms whereby whole grains may protect against disease include binding of carcinogens and modulation of the glycemic response. Clearly, the range of protective substances in whole grains is impressive and advice to consume additional whole grains is justified. Further study is needed regarding the mechanisms behind this protection so that the most potent protective com-ponents of whole grains will be maintained when developing whole grains into acceptable food products for the public.

Effect of dietary level of phytic acid on hepatic and serum lipid status in rats fed a high-sucrose diet.
Autors: Onomi S, Okazaki Y and Katayama T

Research Institute: Department of Human Life Sciences Education, Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University (Japan)

Publication: Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004 Jun;68(6):1379-81

Phytic acid is often considered as an anti-nutritient because it forms insoluble complexes with minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron. Phytic acid has a structure similar to that of myo-inositol, which has been demonstrated to reduce hepatic lipid levels.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of phytic acid on the hepatic and serum lipid status of rats fed a high sucrose diet. The rats were divided in 7 groups: 1 control group and 6 groups fed with different levels of phytic acid (0.02% to 10% sodium phytate). The addition of 5 to 10 percent phytic acid resulted in a very depressed growth and food intake. These levels are very high compared to the 0.035 percent phytic acid in the Western diet. Hepatic levels of triglyceride and cholesterol and lipogenic enzymes activity were reduced with increasing dietary phytate level. The addition of 10% sodium phytate drastically depressed growth, food intake, and serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The lower level of phytic acid (0.013%) significantly reduced hepatic serum levels of lipids and triglycerides. Intake of phytic acid resulted in reduced hepatic cholesterol concentrations, increased fatty acid synthetase and reduced hepatic malic enzyme activity. Serum lipid levels were not much influenced by phytic acid intake.

The study concluded that dietary intake of phytic acid at a level of 0.035 percent may protect against a fatty liver resulting from elevated hepatic lipogenesis, and that the anti-nutrient effect of phytic acid on mineral absorption will only occur at 10 fold higher levels. The researchers even speculated that phytic acid may be considered more like a vitamin than an anti-nutrient.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:42 AM   #9
Paul Symes
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May I ask where the evidence is that grains cause your teeth to be crooked?

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Old 05-01-2006, 07:05 AM   #10
Sean Harrison
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I'm in Taiwan and it's funny, you don't see as much rice around as you might think. Noodles are a little more common, but like buddy in Japan said upa little, people don't always finish their meals,whereas I could eat noodles all day.
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